Harlequin Tactica

I hope my opponent’s never read my blog since I’m taking about all the ideas and synergy that makes a harlequin based army work. Oh well…

One of the key aspects to rocking with the clowns is to bring your opponent down to your level- on foot, and engage them on that holding. This is one of the reasons Tyranids always fail vs. clowns- they have no “mech” to begin with. Combined with flip belts and terrain + fleet it is easy to get the drop on a unit and wipe them out. Conversely if your opponent is meched up they can pick the when and where to engage you, not good.

Due to the nature of the army build my target priority is not dakka tanks and the like since they can’t reliably see or shoot me- harlies with VOT, pathfinders with the 2+ save plus fortune, wraithlords behind cover. Priority as stated is on transports which try to get taken out at three ranges.

The first range is at 36”+ with my missile launchers and brightlances on the wraithlords assisted by guide from Eldrad. Next range up is 18”-24” with the Death Jesters and eldritch storm, and then 6” with the fusion pistols. I’d rather it not get the pistol range since this is where my opponent can bypass veil of tears, but one has to have a solution for it. In terms of getting my opponent on foot, I only need to “stop” the transport so immobilizing is just as good as destroying it. Once my opponent is on foot, then it is time to send in the clowns!

Warhammer Pinning Tactics

Anytime you roll dice in 40K bad things can happen…failed armor saves, perils of the warp, exploding vehicles, etc., and it is with this idea in mind that I try to get my opponent to roll those dice as often as possible- which leads us to the topic of this article: pinning.

Pinning as a viable and useful tactic rather then just a little used rule on page 31? Why yes! Consider this army:

1750 Eldar Warhost

30 Harlequins
12 Rangers
3 Wraithlords

Everything in the army has a chance to pin enemy units, Eldrad has eldritch storm, harlequins with the death jester, rangers with the sniper rifles, and the ‘lords with missile launchers. With nine chances to score a pin each turn, it opens the concept up as a tactical option which is used to control your opponent’s shooting and movement. Examples of pinning in action from two recent games…

Two groups of nob bikers zooming towards my two harlequin troupes- one nob group is bigger then the other and even with doom backing the clowns I can’t take on both going one to one. I need to bomb the bigger biker group with clowns and throw in doom for good measure. What to do then about the other biker group since they will then charge me next turn? Pin them of course with my rangers and wraithlords! Cause a wound, roll the dice, and the second bike unit is pinned buying me time and some breathing room.

My group of harlequins is on approach to assault a space marine tactical squad holding an objective. Next to them a few inches back is a group of stearnguard veterans in support. I know I can hit the tactical marines with moving, running, and then fleet, but I am positive that the stearnguard are just out of assault range. At best I’ll kill the tactical squad and then get blow away by the stearnguard with their special ammo, and then they will just move onto the objective and I’ve gained nothing. Options? Pin the stearnguard, clown assault the tactical squad and then next turn assault the stearnguard gobbling up both of them. Rangers tried and failed, but then the death jester from my second troupe scored and my opponent failed his pinning test.

Now I won’t say you should rely on this any more then counting on melta guns to actually explode tanks and then roll a “1” on the damage chart, but the concept does open up options that are often never considered by some players. They key to a pinning load out is to not sacrifice your build to favor pinning- it should be something that can compliment your army, adding to it as opposed to focusing it or narrowing it down, you are also going to have to find a way to build in pinning shots from multiple units to make sure you have the redundancy to make it count when you need it.

A crazy idea? Maybe, but sometimes left field is all you need to give you that slight edge in a game for the win!

Obviously throw all this out the window if you are facing mass fearless troops, but hey, not everybody in the 40K universe is fearless…yet…